Best Drum Sanders of 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Are you a DIYer who does not like to enlist the help of professionals to do the repairs or redo around your house? Are you a woodworking enthusiast who likes working with wood very much? Are you a professional who is often hired to do the woodworking jobs at other people’s properties?

If the answer to any of these questions is a yes, then you will need all the necessary equipment to get the job done. One of the most important woodworking tools is a drum sander. Since wood is a material that requires regular sanding, no woodworker can operate without an efficient drum sander.

In this article, we have listed the best drum sanders that are currently available in the market. If you are interested in buying, we advise you to carefully consider the products we recommend.

Comparison Chart of the Best Drum Sanders

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Powermatic PM2244

  • Designed to prevent machine overload
  • Equipped with LED control panel
  • Can be used to sand metal as well
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SuperMax Tools 16-32

  • Unique technology prevents damaging or burning material
  • Will not go out of alignment
  • Height adjustments allows for better use
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Shop Fox W1678

  • Best Belt Sander for the Money
  • Hood is made with internal baffles for better dust collection
  • Control panel is multi-functional
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Delta Woodworking 31-481

  • Best Drum Floor Sander
  • Strong main motor of 230V
  • Rear drum is kept level with rear-roller adjustment dials
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JET 22-44ODS

  • Best Oscillating Drum Sander
  • Heat build-up is reduced with Oscillating feature
  • Manual belt adjustments reduced with patented conveyor belt
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Big Horn 19521

  • Best Drum Sander for Drill
  • Compatible with portable drill presses, flexible shafts and electric drills
  • Allows easy freehand sanding
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Grizzly Industrial G1066R

  • Best Grizzly Drum Sander
  • Sandpaper can be easily installed onto drums
  • Comes with 2 adjustable pressure rollers
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SuperMax Tools 19-38

  • Best Supermax Drum Sander
  • Overheating is prevented with self-cooling drum
  • Conveyor bed is reinforced with four steel cross sections
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Jet 723520K JWDS-1632 16-32 Plus

  • Best Jet Drum Sander
  • Conveyor bed can quickly return to flat position
  • Balanced extruded aluminum drum
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What is a Drum Sander?

A drum sander is a powerful woodworking machine that is equipped with a drum or cylinder that is covered with replaceable abrasive sheets and spun at high speed to sand wooden or plastic surfaces.

You get two kinds of drum sanders. The first is bench-type that is fed with the piece of stock that needs sanding. These facilitate users by offering a hands-free approach once the panel is fed into the machine.

Then there are handheld units that are applied to the wooden surface by the operator. These function more like a lawnmower or a vacuum cleaner. They keep their operators busy as they have to constantly keep pushing and tilting it for proper effect. Both types of drum sanders are equally important and play a vital role in woodworking projects and forming plastic.

What is a Drum Sander Used For?

A drum sander is used to sand hardwood or plastics. They use abrasive sheets that are rotated at high speed via a powerful motor to sand various surfaces quickly and neatly. You can use it to sand and refinish the wooden panels on your floor.

Woodworkers use it to perform a large number of sanding chores. It is more of a finishing tool, so you can use it to smooth out the roughness of a wooden surface. It can also be used for making very thin stock like hums or edge bindings. Whenever you need a wooden piece that is less than 1/4th inch thick, you can use a drum sander to reduce its thickness even more.

Quick Take: Best Drum Sanders

Want to skip the review? Here is a quick look at the best drum sanders:

1. Powermatic PM2244
2. SuperMax Tools 16-32
3. Shop Fox W1678

Review of the Best Drum Sanders

Some woodworkers think that a drum sander is not an important tool. We think otherwise. It is an indispensable tool, especially when you are refinishing your wooden floors. The market is filled with a large range of different models.

To choose one, you need to carefully consider different aspects and features of each. To help you with this, here is a detailed review of some of the best drum sanders.

Best Overall:
Powermatic PM2244

Powermatic PM2244 1-3/4 hp Drum Sander

PROS

  • Very easy to set up 
  • Suitable to use as a planer too
  • Gives out digital reading to facilitate its user
  • Efficiently works with small and thin woods too 
  • Can easily handle large and thick pieces of wood

CONS

  • Operates on a smaller motor

What Recent Buyers Report

People who recently purchased and used this drum sander are extremely impressed with its performance. They have been able to sand big planks of wood with great results. Some have also used it to remove cups on wood and found that it effectively removed it with only a few passes of this product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like that this is one of the most precise drum sanders. It has a user-friendly LED control panel that helps calibrate speed, power, and DRO. It features an extremely durable design with a cast iron drum carriage, a stainless steel hood, and 4 dust collection ports. It is a remarkable model that exceeded the expectations we had from it. It will more than meet your requirements if you decide to buy it.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an exceptionally efficient product, so people who want perfectly uniform results from their woodworking tools will find this a very useful product. It is specially designed to address the cupping or bowing problems common in woods, so it is quite beneficial for woodworkers who want their drum sander to work as a planer too.

Bottom Line

Powermatic PM2244 is a seriously amazing product that will make you look like a professional woodworker even if you are an amateur. It is quite heavy but comes with wheels to facilitate transportation. It comes assembled, so you don’t have to do much to set it up. If you are into large-scale woodworking, this is the drum sander for you.

SUPERMAX TOOLS Drum Sander with Stand, Built-in Digital Read Out, Patented Quick Lever Adjustment and Turbo Vented Dust Port - Model 16-32

PROS

  • Features durable cast iron construction 
  • Changing abrasive sheets is a piece of cake
  • Suitable to work with both hard and softwood
  • Can automatically adjust the conveyer belt speed 
  • Pressure can be adjusted with height adjustment lever 

CONS

  • Dust port might get in the way 
  • Equipped with a comparatively weak motor 

What Recent Buyers Report

Users who have recently worked with this drum sander report that it works efficiently and silently. Its automatic Intellisand technology is said to be very responsive at controlling the conveyer belt speed. Buyers also like the digital meter that displays the accuracy. Users say that it is a solid, non-fussy machine that reliably gets the job done.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us because it is very versatile in its functioning. It works efficiently and accurately with any kind of stock. It is equipped with smart technology that automatically adjusts the conveyer belt speed, depending upon the stock it is fed with. The direct drum design is also a major plus point, which adds to its performance. To top it off, changing abrasive sheets on it is a piece of cake.

Who Will Use This Most

This drum sander is a must-buy for any professional woodworker who works with a medium to large wood stock. DIYers who are enthusiastic woodworkers will also find this a useful machine. People who work with a stock of different widths will also benefit from using this versatile and heavy-duty model.

Bottom Line

If you are looking to buy a durable, reliable, and fairly powerful drum sander, then this is the right one for you. It is a versatile machine that can work with any kind of wood, be it hard or soft, thick or thin. For its versatility, it is a great choice that will not disappoint.

Best for the Money:
Shop Fox W1678

SHOP FOX W1678 5 HP 26-Inch Drum Sander

PROS

  • Has dual 4-inch dust ports 
  • Dual drums enable faster sanding
  • Functions on a very powerful motor
  • Equipped with a durable industrial standard conveyer belt 
  • Comes with a multifunction control panel that is equipped with an Ammeter

CONS

  • Heavy and bulky 

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers who have recently invested in this product have labeled it as a fantastic drum sander. They report that it works efficiently with a dual drum design that runs and sands smoothly. The durable conveyer belt and hinged hood are its most attractive features for most of the users. They like that it works precisely. They also like that the sandpaper clamps strongly and changes easily.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This machine offers both power and large sanding capacity. The dual drum design is capable of sanding quickly and efficiently. Using it is a breeze as it has a very straightforward and easy to use control panel. The hook and loop installation of sandpaper roll makes changing it an easy task. Built with rugged housing and parts, this is a drum sander that will serve you longer.

Who Will Use This Most

We believe that it is an excellent choice for woodworkers who work on large projects. DIYers who don’t want to mess with complicated machines are likely to find this simple and straightforward model to their advantage. People who want to add a uniform finish to their woodwork are also likely to use this the most.

Bottom Line

Overall, this drum sander is a combination of power and speed. It is very simple to use thanks to its multifunction control panel. It is equipped with an ammeter that monitors the amount of load. It has a dual drum design that saves you a lot of time and effort. All in all, this is truly a fabulous product that is worth its price tag. 

Best Drum Floor Sander:
Delta Woodworking 31-481

Delta Woodworking  31-481 26-Inch Dual Drum Sander, 3-HP, 230V

PROS

  • Dual dust ports effectively collect dust
  • Boasts a number of DIY friendly features
  • Rear drum can be adjusted independently 
  • Features a durable, heavy-duty steel frame
  • Installation and removal of the abrasive sheet are very easy 

CONS

  • Too heavy to unload alone 
  • Comes without extra accessories 

What Recent Buyers Report

Woodworkers, who recently worked with this drum sander, report it to be a satisfying machine. They say that it is capable of handling any job you throw at it. Beginners have been able to add a professional touch to their work with it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like that this drum sander has a lot to offer. The sturdy steel construction ensures that it performs very well even when confronted with rigorous jobs. With its excellent tracking adjustment and commendable tensioning ability, it gives you professional results consistently without failing. It is also equipped with dual dust ports that ensure a completely mess-free operation. 

Who Will Use This Most

This machine will make a lasting impression on woodworkers who are very particular about their work. It is great for people who want an efficient device to take care of their daily needs. Users who have a thing for great warranties will also be attracted by its 5-year warranty backing.

Bottom Line

If you are a DIYer or a hobbyist who likes to work with a lot of wood, then you will find this to be a wonderful machine. It is equipped with a magnetic power button and a removable key switch for variable motor speeds. These make it very convenient to use. It has a sturdy frame with dual drums and a powerful motor. All of these contribute to make it a great woodworking machine.

Best Oscillating Drum Sander:
JET 22-44ODS

JET 22-44ODS Oscillating Drum Sander Kit with closed stand

PROS

  • Operates on a heavy-duty motor
  • Smart conveyer belt can adjust automatically 
  • Equipped with an oscillating feature to reduce heat build-up
  • Features a front-mounted on/off switch for user convenience
  • Backed by a five-year warranty and amazing customer service 

CONS

  • Uses a lot of sandpaper 
  • Initial setup is a bit difficult and tedious

What Recent Buyers Report

People who have recently purchased and used this device are generally satisfied with its performance. They report that it is a great drum sander, but you have to learn to operate it. They say that in order to achieve your desired results, you have to go really slow with it as going too fast might result in burnt wood. They like the easy to install and remove the sandpaper mechanism.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This machine stands out from the rest of its league. It functions on a powerful motor and offers complete control over feed per minute so you won't have any difficulty in sanding any wood material. It has a steel conveyer that helps you adjust height and pressure easily. It works quickly and effectively, providing you with excellent results every single time.

Who Will Use This Most

JET 22-44ODS is a great choice for beginners who are very patient. Woodworkers who work with large stocks will benefit from its automatic overload management. People who work with varying wood widths will also find this a useful machine. DIYers who like flexibility and control will also benefit from using it.

Bottom Line

Having an efficient drum sander by your side greatly affects the quality of your woodwork. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, this is a fabulous device that will meet all your daily demands of work. You can either use it as a simple sander or as an oscillating one. Regardless, it will surely satisfy you with its performance.

Best Benchtop Drum Sander:
JET 628900 Mini

JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander, 115-Volt 1-Phase

PROS

  • Quite an affordable model
  • Comes complete with a stand 
  • Features a variable speed rate
  • Delivered in an almost assembled state 
  • Abrasive strips are easy to apply and take off

CONS

  • Circuit breaker can catch on things
  • A corded electrical tool, so it needs a socket nearby 

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers who recently used this drum sander are very pleased with their purchase. They report that although it is not suitable for commercial purposes, it has produced impressive results. Users have been using it for smaller projects and say that it has certainly reduced the amount of time consumed otherwise in tedious sanding work.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a portable drum sander. It is equipped with a big hand wheel for height adjustment. It has variable speed control and can work effectively on large surfaces. It utilizes a steel conveyer belt and has patented trackers, so you don't have to worry about making manual belt adjustments. It operates on a heavy-duty motor so it can work consistently for long durations.

Who Will Use This Most

People who want a sander but are on a tight budget will find this an amazingly useful product. Woodworkers who have small workshops that cannot fit a full-sized drum sander will like this mini model. It is an excellent product for people who craft guitars and ukuleles because of its compact design and efficiency.

Bottom Line

Sanding is not essentially a part of any woodworking project. If you prioritize it, you are prioritizing the quality of your work. This drum sander is a great choice if you want a benchtop model. It has all the features of a superior model with the added benefit of portability. You can buy this for starters and then proceed from thereon.

Best Drum Sander for Drill:
Big Horn 19521

Big Horn 19521 Rubber Sanding Drum Set, 20 Piece

PROS

  • Very simple and easy to use
  • Versatile product that fits almost every drill 
  • Comes with a sturdy box for storage purposes
  • A complete kit with both the drums and the sleeves 
  • Especially effective at sanding round and curved edges 

CONS

  • Not suitable for heavy sanding applications
  • A messy sanding product that creates a lot of sawdust 

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers of this sanding drum set report that it is a satisfying product. Although they did have to make some adjustments to make it work, the end result was very good. They have used it for light sanding applications and found that it certainly adds a class to their work. Supplied in a durable case, it has certainly managed to impress its buyers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a versatile sanding product. It is a premium quality set with self-expanding rubber drums of varying sizes. The variety of sizes ensures that you have the right drum for every type of sanding application. The sleeves are easy to slide on and off the drum. They have smooth spiral joints, so you don’t have any problem sanding with it.

Who Will Use This Most

Those who don’t have space for a dedicated sander will put it to great use. DIYers who like making improvements around their house will also benefit from using this sanding drum set. People who own a drill press will also like using this kit for their smaller projects.

Bottom Line

If you are amongst those people who like woodworking but don’t have space or money for a full-sized drum sander, then you will surely find this a wonderful product. The affordable price and a handy size are the features that attract the majority of buyers towards it. Paired with a stylish carry case, it is truly a standout woodworking tool.

Best Grizzly Drum Sander:
Grizzly Industrial G1066R

Grizzly Industrial G1066R - 24' 5 HP Drum Sander

PROS

  • Operates on a powerful motor
  • Equipped with two aluminum drums 
  • Durable steel and ball bearing construction
  • Uses hook and loop to secure the sandpaper
  • A couple of 4 inches dust ports ensure a mess-free operation 

CONS

  • Has a very noisy operation 
  • Not suitable for simple sanding applications

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers who have recently bought this machine have found it an amazing device. Its biggest selling point is the computer balanced drums that ensure that the sandpaper roll is in position all the time. Users have been using it regularly with precise and uniform results.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

Grizzly Industries sure put a lot of thought into this drum sander. It is the smallest of their range but packs a punch of features. It is equipped with a heavy-duty motor and dual drums to significantly cut down on time. The drums are computer balanced, so you don’t have to worry about making adjustments to the sanding sheet. It has a variable speed operation so you can work with a wider range of wood stock.

Who Will Use This Most

People who are into Grizzly Industries products will find this a very attractive device. Woodworkers who want to get a lot of work done within a small duration of time will also benefit from using this machine. It is also a great device for both beginners and experts alike.

Bottom Line

This is a well-thought device from Grizzly Industries. It is equipped with all the features that facilitate you while working with it and also give you a perfect sanding finish. It is heavy, but the weight works to provide you a firm working station. All in all, coming from a reputable manufacturer, this product is worthy of your consideration.

Best Supermax Drum Sander:
SuperMax Tools 19-38

SUPERMAX TOOLS Drum Sander with Flatness Guarantee, Intellisand Technology and Patented Abrasive Attachment System. Model 19-38 (SUPMX-71938-D)

PROS

  • Suitable for both hard and softwood
  • Equipped with the best dust collection system
  • Instructions are easy to understand and follow
  • Durable and long-lasting cast iron construction
  • Pressure can be easily adjusted with a height adjustment lever 

CONS

  • Sandpaper loading is not easy
  • Larger stick is difficult to move through the conveyor

What Recent Buyers Report

People who have recently purchased and used this drum sander really like it for its great features. They received it in three different boxes but report that it was very easy to assemble.

They really like the efficient dust collection port that sits right at the top of the machine. The open-ended design has caused a stir in the market with people wanting to replace their bigger and high-end drum sanders with this one.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This device features everything you expect from a high-quality product. It features an open table design with an easy alignment system. The one nut adjustment to adjust the parallel of the conveyer is one of the quickest methods. It has a digital meter to ensure extreme precision. It can automatically lock into position to facilitate related sanding.

Who Will Use This Most

It is the perfect sander for any professional woodworker who works with medium to large stocks. It is a powerful and dependable device, so people who want to invest in an efficient and long-lasting machine will also find this a worthy investment. Beginners who are still learning the craft will like it for the facility it brings to them.

Bottom Line

This is a splendid mix budget with pleasure kind of device. It is quite affordable and makes sanding tasks a breeze. With its powerful motor and easy to use features, this surely shines brighter than the rest of its counterparts. We wrap up by saying that you should seriously consider this model as your choice of a drum sander.

Jet 723520K JWDS-1632 16-32 Plus 20 Amp Service with 608003 Stand in Woodworking, Sanders, Drum Sanders

PROS

  • Capable of sanding aluminum
  • Surface is protected against heat damage
  • Continuously monitors the load for proper feed rates 
  • Conveyer belt parallelism is easily adjusted with a dial 
  • Equipped with a dust hood to collect chips and sawdust

CONS

  • A bit heavy and expensive 
  • Sanding drum and feed motor turn on separately

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers of this drum sander are raving about its performance. They really like it for its easy assembly. They have found that it works better than a planer for end grains as well as taking off small amounts of thickness. Users really love the fact that it saves them a lot of time that would have been otherwise spent in sanding wood with a belt.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is one of the best drum sanders. It has a dust hood to collect all the dust created from continuous sanding. It is made possible by a channel that mirrors the shape of the drum to facilitate the transportation of sawdust straight to the collection port. Its expertly designed aluminum drum effectively dissipates heat to protect your entire surface from heat damage.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a highly recommended machine for both beginners and professionals. It is equipped with all the necessary features, so woodworkers who are up to neck in their tasks will also benefit from using it. It is especially a great choice for DIYers who are planning to remodel their furniture and house.

Bottom Line

To conclude, we will say that this drum sander comes from one of the best manufacturers in the industry. It is a high-quality product without a shadow of doubt over its quality. If you are interested in buying a highly efficient sanding tool, we advise you to give this model your attention as this is a device that will not disappoint.

How to Use a Drum Sander

A drum sander is the most reliable tool in your workshop. It uses replaceable abrasive sheets to give your floor a smoother and dazzling finish. If you are a first-time user, using it will look like a difficult task. But let us assure you that it actually is not that hard. Here is a step by step guide to walk you through how to expertly maneuver a drum sander.

  1. The first thing you have to do is assemble your drum sander.

  2. Slide the handle back inside the receiver. 

  3. Look for a clamp on the right side and tighten it. 

  4. Attach the power cord and secure it in position. 

  5. Connect the dust exhaustion port to its place. 

  6. Attach the other end of the tube to your dust bag and secure it with the rubber ring.

  7. Put on your protective gloves. 

  8. Now tilt the machine back and lift the front guard.

  9. Take your abrasive roll and secure one end to the hook. 

  10. Wrap the sheet around the drum. Be sure not to leave any empty space. 

  11. Secure the other end of the abrasive roll on the other side of the drum. 

  12. Lower the front guard and lift the machine back up. You are good to go. 

Using a drum sander is fairly easy. And the procedure given above simplifies it even more. If you still have any difficulty, you can refer to the video given below.

Conclusion

Using a drum sander to refinish your wooden floors is actually quite a simple task. Once you start doing it yourself, you will never enlist a professional to do the job for you. Buying a drum sander is not a small expense, so you want to be completely satisfied with the features of your chosen product.

Above, we have listed the best drum sanders to narrow down your choice to only the absolute best products being sold in the market. You can choose any of these, and we assure you that you will not regret making this choice.

People Also Ask

It’s a common perception that a drum sander is more of a rental object than an owned one. When you rent one, you are at the liberty of using any model at any time. But when you decide to buy one, you are faced with a tough task of choosing the right one.

Let’s face it; drum sanders are not a cheap investment, so you would want to be sure that the product you purchase is up to the mark. Here are some frequently asked questions about drum sanders to help you in your quest.

How Much Does a Drum Sander Remove?

Drum sanders are great tools for sanding or fine surfacing wood. They utilize abrasive sheets to roll over the surface and remove the grit or build-up on the floor. With each pass, a drum sander removes a thousandth of an inch of wood from the surface, about 0. 005 to 0.007 inch per pass, to be exact.

What is the Difference Between a Drum Sander and a Belt Sander?

A drum sander and a belt sander are two similar yet different tools for hardwood floor refinishing. A drum sander is installed with a wider drum that has long abrasive sheets wrapped around and clamped in position by its own locking mechanism. Belt sanders use sanding belts to sand the wooden surfaces.

How Long Does it Take to Sand a Floor With a Drum Sander?

The time required to sand a floor with a drum sander greatly depends upon the size of the room you want to sand. To sand an average 20 by 20 room, it takes around 2 to 3 hours for a professional. But if you plan to do it yourself, it might take much longer than that.

Is a Drum Sander Hard to Use?

Drum sanders are actually not very hard to use. Although you might have some difficulty using them for the first time, once you get the hang of it, you will find that they actually are a versatile product that can roll in both directions to give you an even, smooth and clean surface.

Will a Drum Sander Flatten a Board?

A drum sander cannot essentially flatten a warped or cupped board. It might work temporarily, but as soon as the roller is off, the board will spring right back. But if you use some shims, you might be able to flatten a board permanently. Just tape some shims on one side and then roll the sander on the other side. Remove the shims and roll that side to flatten.

How Do You Change the Sandpaper on a Drum Sander?

If you want to use your sandpaper sheets to their fullest, you should know how to install them properly on a drum sander. Usually, only the edges of the sandpaper are attached to the drum, with the remaining part of the sheet only wrapped around the drum surface.

Depending upon the model, your drum sander may have a snap bar or a set of three screws on each side of the drum to secure the sheet onto the drum.

How Much Sandpaper Do I Need For a Drum Sander?

This is a tough question to answer. It largely depends upon the condition of the surface you want to sand. Assuming you have an average-sized 20 by 20 with a slightly worn floor, you will need a variety of sandpapers to get it to its original polished state. The following is the rough estimate of the amount of sandpaper needed to sand an average room with moderate wear and tear.

  • 36 grit paper: 12 sheets
  • 60 grip paper: 8 sheets
  • 100 grit paper: 8 sheets
  • 120 grit paper: 5 sheets

Many hardware stores allow you to return unused sandpaper, so don’t worry about buying too much.